Critical Steps to Take Following a Car Accident

An estimated six million vehicle accidents take place on America's roadways each year based on information from various traffic safety organizations. These crashes result in more than 90 deaths every day and over three million serious injuries per year. In many cases, Car Accident Attorneys must get involved to help resolve issues after the fact, such as proving who was at fault in the accident and whether damages should be awarded to the victim. It's important to keep certain aspects in mind if you've been involved in an accident.

First Things First

Law enforcement officials must be contacted following an accident. This is required by law. Emergency medical personnel will most likely be called to the scene as well. Even if you don't think you're injured, allow paramedics to examine you and any passengers involved in the crash or, at the very least, visit a local emergency room as soon as possible. Some injuries, even potentially life-threatening ones, aren't evident immediately following an accident.

Medical Treatment for car accident injuries will help ensure your well-being as well as that of others involved. It'll also serve as documentation of care needed as a result of the accident. Be sure to follow through with any additional treatment required along the way. All this will create a much-needed paper trail should legal intervention become necessary later.

Gathering Details

Evidence will be critical in proving your case if you decide to seek damages. This includes pictures and video of vehicle damage, the area surrounding the accident, and other details. If you're able to do so, be sure to take as many clear photos and videos as possible after an accident. Gather contact information of any witnesses, and look around for surveillance cameras that might've captured the event. Though law enforcement officials will conduct an investigation immediately after the accident, police reports aren't admissible as evidence in court.

Filing a Claim

After the evidence has been gathered and you've received treatment for injuries, it's time to file a claim with the insurance company. Though there's no harm in contacting the at-fault driver's coverage provider, starting off with your own insurance company may be the best way to go. Representatives will know exactly how to proceed and may be able to get more satisfactory results than you can on your own. Still, though insurance will pay for a certain amount of damage and medical care, the full expenses of car accident pain and suffering aren't usually covered under traditional policies.

In cases where the insurance companies won't cover the full cost of an accident, further help may be needed. This is where an attorney will come into play. In many instances, these matters are settled out of court, but Car accident trials become necessary when those involved can't agree on a settlement outside the courtroom.